Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life

| Author : Michael Port, 2015

What’s It All About?

Whether you’re interviewing for a job, kicking off a meeting with your team, or having a conversation with your family at the dinner table, every moment is a chance to perform! This is the basis behind Steal the Show by Michael Port. As a former professional actor, speaker, and the founder of Heroic Public Speaking, Michael knows what it takes to create an ovation-worthy performance. In Steal the Show, he uses his own speaking and performance experience to craft memorable methods others can use to find everyday ways to persuade, inform, and motivate through their speaking.

I especially liked Michael’s thoughts on the importance of preparation. When you see an athlete ace an amazing shot, it’s because they’ve practiced 10,000 of times—and you can set yourself up for that same success through practice. By knowing your materials well, you can approach any conversation or performance feeling comfortable and confident. If you have a strong foundation, you’ll also have more freedom to improvise to fit the specific situation.

Steal the Show also has some great insights about why it’s difficult to be both a performer and a critic. Think about a chef at a restaurant: if they are making their own dishes and writing critical food reviews at the same time, it will become harder for them to focus on the quality of their own food. To become a better performance, think about where you want to put your focus. Be intentional about how you view the performances of others, as well as your own work. Put a focus on building up, rather than tearing down. You’ll start the see the benefits in your own performances!

Favorite Quote

“When we judge others, we diminish ourselves. We end up playing smaller than bigger.”

Biggest Takeaway

Along with sharing the importance of preparation, another major point of Steal the Show is the necessity of always leaving room for other perspectives. How often do you use all-or-nothing statements, like “my brother is always late?” Statements with words like “always” or “never” leave no room for interpretation, and can break your trust with your audience. To leave more space for interpretation, avoid all-of-nothing statements like these. Instead, try statements like “it seems like . . .” to allow for more interpretation.

Mindfulness Manufacturing - Michael Port Interview

Bonus Information

In July 2023, I graduated from Heroic Public Speaking, where I learned the craft of professional speaking. Michael, his wife Amy, and their team provide a one-of-a-kind experience to prepare you to change the world, one speech at time. When I started, I committed to the goal of having a greater impact and helping others, but the program transformed me in ways I couldn’t even imagine before I started. I’m a better person through the staff at Heroic Public Speaking, my classmates, and the Ports. If you’re interested in Heroic Public Speaking, reach out to me and see if their program is a fit for you!

Michael also recently joined me as a guest on my Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast. Check out his episode here to learn more about how you can improve your performance skills to heighten your impact, grow your role in your organization, and find the most effective ways to inform, persuade, and motivate your team.

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel,  August 8, 2023

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.